Brazil flat steel distributors’ shipments fall 8.1% on year in January: Inda

Shipments by Brazilian independent flat steel distributors and service centers dropped 8.1% on the year, to 298,500 mt in January, according to data from the national flat products distributors association Inda on Jan. 22.

On month, shipments increased 14.2%

“Sales picked up in the last week of January,” said Carlos Loureiro, executive president of Inda.

On the other hand, purchases fell 10% on the year, to 302,400 mt in January. Compared with the previous month, purchases increased 21.7%.

“Since by late January, market commented about a possible price increase, so it is normal to anticipate buys,” said Loureiro.

Flat product inventories in the Brazilian distribution network totaled 827,100 mt, up 0.5% from December. The average inventory-turnover was 2.7 months of supply.

Finished flat steel imports rose 5.3% on the year in January to 169,880 mt, excluding slab, mostly from China (59.1%), followed by Russia (14.7%)

“If there are sanctions on Russia, it may affect exports to Brazil and impact prices, mostly on slab,” he said.

Imports of slabs were 578,200 mt, Inda said. “It is a low volume, market is very tight, which reflects on prices. When there was need, domestic mills purchased internally.”

— Jose Guerra